Alexander Marwood, the cantankerous landlord of the Queen’s Head is away, leaving the Westfield’s Men theatre troupe free to play. Marwood’s replacement, Adam Crowmere, is a welcome change and Westfield’s Men being to dread their landlord’s return.But strange occurrences begin to take place within the company and book holder Nicholas Bracewell fears something sinister is aAlexander Marwood, the cantankerous landlord of the Queen’s Head is away, leaving the Westfield’s Men theatre troupe free to play. Marwood’s replacement, Adam Crowmere, is a welcome change and Westfield’s Men being to dread their landlord’s return.But strange occurrences begin to take place within the company and book holder Nicholas Bracewell fears something sinister is afoot. Then the company’s costumes are stolen from a locked cabinet and they are forced to perform without them. Nick delves deeper into the mysterious events happening around London because for Westfield’s Men, the show must go on....
|Title||:||The Counterfeit Crank|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||254 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Counterfeit Crank Reviews
What a splendidly convoluted and complex mystery this is! Edward Marston is a master plotter at work, testing his protagonist Nicholas Bracewell and the troupe of actors, Lord Westfield's Men, to the very limit of endurance. It's a story of many different types of counterfeit cranks.Several thrilling and complex subplots make this easily the most accomplished of the series I've read so far. I hugely enjoyed reading this, the Elizabethan era conjured up with such ease by the author that one is tempted to believe Mr Marston has got his very own TARDIS and is able to travel back and forth in time. Surely only somebody whose been to 16th century London could portray that great city with such a wealth of detail?Plot: When their playwright, the lovable Edmund Hood, is struck down by a mysterious illness, his concerned actor friends are relieved to find that a new playwright, Michael Grammaticus, jumps into the breach to help them out with a new play. As Edmund continues to languish at his quarters and a competent doctor, paid for by a grateful usurper Grammaticus, takes over Edmund's treatment, the troupe of actors face yet another challenge:The lugubrious landlord of the Queen's Head, where they perform all their plays, is called away to his brother's sickbed. As one landlord leaves, his replacement arrives from Rochester. Adam Crowmere is the complete opposite to the miserable landlord Alexander Marwood. A genial host, a generous landlord and a helpful friend, he soon persuades actors and staff that they are all one happy family. The arrival of a mysterious guest, the meek and pious Philomen Lavery, proves yet another challenge to the inmates of the Queen's Head. Lavery is an enthusiastic card player, enticing the actors to join him in a game or two over night. As one by one actors begin to lose large sums of money and have to beg Nicholas for an advance on their wages, Nicholas becomes convinced that the harmless looking Lavery is not what he seems.While all this is going on, the main plot thrusts itself upon the reader's attention with the force of a blow into the stomach: two young beggars, the girl Dorothea and the young man Hywel, arrive in London. Their counterfeit crank exploits are soon being exposed and when the two come across Nicholas Bracewell and his actor colleague Owen Elias in a narrow side street, their deceitful ways come to an end - or seemingly so, for they shun the helping hand Nicholas and Owen extend to them and try to make a living as beggars on the streets of London.Before long, the two are arrested and thrown into the workhouse at Bridewell. Here some truly horrific experiences await them - Bridewell is ruled with an iron fist by two scoundrels who'll stop at nothing to make money, not even rape or murder. Now Nicholas must solve a multitude of riddles. Who robbed Lord Westfield's Men of their afternoon's takings? Who stole their precious stage costumes? Who is Lavery - a card shark or an honest man? How can be bring justice to the victims of Bridewell?Told with much bawdy humour and a firm grip on the historical background, the story unfolds with the pace and tension of a tournament at court. Beleaguered from all sides, Lord Westfield's Men must rally and work together, if they are to survive their present difficulties. Old loyalties are tested severely, new ones are questioned. At the very end, they discover, sometimes the devil you know is better than anything new.
This is the 14th in Marston’s Elizabethan Theater mystery series, but the first one I have read. It won’t be the last. Nicholas Bracewell is the book holder and stage manager for Westfield’s Men, an acting troupe living and performing at The Queen’s Head, in London. In this installment, Nicholas deals with the illness of their playwright, the absence of their landlord, the appearance of a young couple who want to work for the company, and the corruption of the men who run the local workhouse.
Another good book in the Nick Bracewell series - the counterfeit crank was effectively any conman in those days - and you get introduced to a really obvious one early in the book. As the drama unfolds you start to realise there are a few other characters who probably aren't all they seem either - and this gets confirmed as Nick Bracewell and his fellows help uncover various deceits which affect both the whole of the acting troupe and some other characters introduced in this book.If you like this series, this book won't disappoint
Westfield's Men believe they have had great good fortune when their landlord is called away and his substitute arrives. So begins one of many plots and subplots winding through the inns, stages and beggars prisons of London, each tied neatly to the other and by the central theme of counterfeits and cons. Another well done historical mystery in this series.
Review - There seemed to be so many counterfeits in this one that I wasn't entirely sure who the title is referring to! Nevertheless, I really enjoyed seeing what could have happened in Bridewell and the corruption that invaded all aspects of life. I do feel sorry for Nicholas Bracewell, who always seems to take the worst of the punishment for Westfield's Men, but keeps getting into scrapes to help people - he is a character to admire. This story is well-written and makes you think.Genre? - Historical / Crime / MysteryCharacters? - Nicholas Bracewell / Lawrence Firethorn / Margery Firethorn / Owen Elias / James Ingram / Richard Honeydew / Edmund Hoode / Barnaby Gill / Anne Hendrik / Alexander Marwood / Dorothea TateSetting? - London (England)Series? - Nicholas Bracewell #14Recommend? – YesRating - 18/20
Another enjoyable book in this series, bringing Elizabethan England and the world of theatre to life. The characters are well portrayed, the plot is convincing and there is a good dollop of humour as well. Very enjoyable.
I quite enjoyed reading a book in Marston's Railway Detective series, so I was looking forward to this novel set a couple of hundred years earlier. Unfortunately I did not enjoy this book anywhere near as much.Firstly, the language was awkward. Marston seemed to try to write narration as well as dialogue in a sixteenth-century style, but it was perhaps a few centuries too far for him to reach. I was misled by the cover, which suggested this was 'An Elizabethan Mystery', but there were too many plots and sub-plots going on to call it a mystery. It was more of a story about things that were happening to a theatre troupe. With some unnecessarily graphic sex scenes. It was interesting, and I got attached to some of the characters, but it wasn't a thrilling read. And I'm still not entirely sure which 'Counterfeit Crank' the title refers to.I'd read more Railway Detective novels, but not another Nicholas Bracewell novel.
The troupe has a new author, as their regular writer Edmund Hoode has come down with a mysterious illness.
Incredible series,....each book, once it gets going never lets up....until the end, of course. This particular volume was an excellent read.